Good Mood Food
Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Impacts on mood can be influenced by many factors such as stress, genetics, as well as nutrient deficiencies. Any nutritionist or Naturopath will say ‘food is medicine’ and there are lots of simple ways to boost our mood by eating the right mix of foods daily.
Here are my top 10 foods to help boost your mood every day:
o Make yourself a healthy hot chocolate with some organic raw cacao which is packed with a type of polyphenol which has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain, thus improving brain function. The positive effects of the flavanols have been indicated on brain health and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. As well as age related mental health, the flavanols also promote calmness and contentment.
Eat more blue berries
o Berries are packed with a wide range of antioxidants combatting oxidative stress in the body. One of these antioxidants in particular – anthocyanin (which gives purple and blue fruits and veggies their colour), has shown in studies to lower the risk of depression symptoms and mood disorders by reducing inflammation.
o Sipping teas which contain herbs that calm the stress response and support the nervous system can help such as Skullcap, Licorice, Siberian ginseng, Chamomile, whilst Passionflower specifically increases GABA - our cool calm and collected neurotransmitter.
Get more Magnesium in your diet
o Magnesium is an essential mineral which helps calm your nervous system and increase melatonin for a restorative night sleep. Acute stress depletes magnesium which can have a cascade of adverse effects on our stress hormones and neurotransmitters. Magnesium moving through the cells initially plays a protective role in order to diminish the adverse effects of stress, Moreover, stress and magnesium deficiency potentiate each other’s negative effects in a pathogenic vicious circle.
o Try adding more leafy greens, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole-grains, dark chocolate, and tofu to your diet.
Eat your omegas
o Essential fatty acids such as omega 3s found in oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich in two types of omega-3s — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These are linked to lower levels of depression as Omega-3s contribute to the fluidity of your brain’s cell membrane, and appear to play key roles in brain development and cell signalling. You can also obtain healthy fats from plant sources such as walnuts, olives, and flaxseeds.
Eat your probiotics
o Eating fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yoghurt improves your diversity of the friendly gut bacteria and therefore improves gut health. Up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced by your gut microbiome, so it’s a good idea to keep the balance of bacteria in check.
Try Oats for brekky
o They’re an excellent source of fibre, providing 8 grams in a single raw cup which helps slow your digestion of carbs, allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels stable, which is important for controlling mood swings and irritability. Traditionally we herbalists use Avena sativa extract as a trophorestorative for the nervous system in herbal tinctures.
Tryptophan foods for serotonin
o Foods which contain Tryptophan are high protein foods such as Chicken, eggs, fish, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, turkey, and tofu.
B Vitamins food for neurotransmitter production
o B Vitamins improve mood by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), all of which are important for regulating mood.
o Sources are mainly animal protein such as fish, organ meats, Chicken, Eggs, Beef, and some plant sources include Legumes, and leafy greens.
Sunbake your mushrooms
o Mushrooms are the only plant based source of Vitamin D and we can increase the levels of Vitamin D by leaving them in the sun for a while.
o Other dietary sources of Vitamin D are oily fish and egg yolks. Why Vitamin D? It is another essential nutrient we cannot make ourselves and affects the availability of Serotonin in the brain, hence low levels of Vitamin have been linked to depression.